Jamie Laing is frequently touted as the heir to the McVitie’s fortune as his great-great-grandfather invented the digestive biscuit, so it is perhaps unsurprising he ended up in the snack industry. Having developed the Candy Kittens concept four years ago, the business has a solid social media following that has been aided by Laing’s Made in Chelsea profile. Available from a number of retailers, packets of Candy Kittens can be purchased for £1.49 upwards from Selfridges, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Topshop, while it entered 350 Tesco stores across the country in November 2015. To mark the milestone and increase the growth and awareness of the brand, Laing and business partner Ed Williams are out to push the Candy Kittens name across Britain and also overseas with a crowdfunding effort to raise £300,000 via Seedrs. Of course, Laing isn’t the only recognisable name to have embraced the crowdfunding business – Tennis star Andy Murray joined Seedrs as an investor back in June and has since taken part in a handful of campaigns. “Since launching in 2014, we have grown Candy Kittens into a multi-million pound confectionery brand with huge potential – not just in the UK, but internationally too,” said Williams, the company’s MD. “Our Seedrs campaign presents an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in investing in a young and growth-focused business, and we’re hugely excited to see how it unfolds.” The UK’s confectionery sector alone is worth £1.1bn, so Laing and Williams are optimistic they can forge their own niche within the market. In comparison to many other products on the market, Candy Kittens promotes itself as gluten-free and made from natural flavours, with seven options available including eton mess and lemon sherbet.
Those interested in taking part in the investment can contribute as little as £12 – seemingly an attempt to enable younger Made in Chelsea fans to become part of the company. Laing said: “I am extremely excited to launch Candy Kittens’ first ever crowdfunding campaign. I was only 23 years old when I launched the brand, so I see this as the perfect opportunity to inspire young people to get involved in a sweet business opportunity.” The owner of the Fulham-based startup isn’t alone in his entrepreneurial efforts, as a number of his co-stars have also entered the world of enterprise.
Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, added “One of the biggest benefits of crowdfunding is that it opens up investment opportunities to a wide and varied investor base, democratising the traditional venture capital model. “Candy Kittens is a fast-growing brand which has the potential to appeal to a mass audience. We’re delighted they have chosen Seedrs and can’t wait to see Candy Kittens’ customers, fans and partners be a part of their growth.” By Zen Terrelonge
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